The Archbishop of Canterbury on Sunday hailed the "heroism" of the UK's front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic, as the country's churches remain closed over Easter for the first time in hundreds of years. Archbishop Justin Welby led the UK's first-ever national digital Easter Sunday service from his kitchen from his apartment in central London, the BBC reported.
"After so much suffering, so much heroism from key workers and the NHS, we cannot be content to go back to what was before as if all is normal," he said in the sermon recorded on his iPad. "There needs to be a resurrection of our common life."
The service was broadcasted as well as available online
The service was broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday and was available to watch on the Church of England's website and Facebook page. The Archbishop normally presides before a congregation of 1,500 people at Canterbury Cathedral on Easter morning.
However, all traditional Easter services have been cancelled to follow the government's rules on social distancing. A message posted from Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Twitter account wished the country a happy Easter. "This year across the country churches will remain closed and families will spend the day apart," the message said.
"But by staying home, remember, you are protecting the NHS and saving lives." Meanwhile, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, said the Easter break was a chance to reflect, in a sermon broadcast on 39 BBC local radio stations." This time of great testing enables us to distinguish what is truly important from all that is fleetingly desired, and has so often mistakenly been given pride of place in our ambitions," he said. "Already we have to look forward to the rebuilding of our common life."